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Maine football invites UCF to play on Saturday after Knights’ game cancellation

Who says game invites can’t be done over Twitter?

Hurricane Florence’s impending threat to the Carolinas has cancelled or postponed a number of college football games in the southeast this weekend.

One of those is UCF’s scheduled game against North Carolina in Chapel Hill, which was announced as postponed four days before the Saturday kickoff. This postponement reminded Maine football that its scheduled Sept. 30 game against UCF last season hasn’t been made up yet:

UCF cancelled games against Memphis and Georgia Tech in 2017 due to Hurricane Irma’s threat to Florida. The Knights ended up moving the game against Memphis to Sept. 30, and cancelled the Maine game in the process:

“It’s nothing we can control,” [Maine athletic administrator] Karlton Creech said. “We respect and understand what Central Florida was going through and [them] already losing two games, we certainly respect their decision.”

In spite of the cancellation, Football Bowl Subdivision member Central Florida will pay UMaine the approximately $350,000 it had been guaranteed to make the trip to Orlando.

“Obviously it’s disappointing, you want to play the games that are scheduled, [but] I think ourselves, the team and Karlton, we understand the situation that they’re in,” UMaine coach Joe Harasymiak said via the Bangor Daily News. “They have an importance to league games and we’d probably do the same thing. We have to move on.”

“I saw they were cancelled, and then I realized ‘oh, UCF was a team we had a cancellation with last season,’” Ryan Long, a Maine athletics communications assistant, and the mastermind behind the tweet, told SB Nation. “So, instantly I thought we could do something quirky and a little funny with it.”

Long adds that some of his colleagues helped him with the phrasing of the tweet to where it could go viral. It worked — Maine’s tweet has over 10,000 likes and another 2,000 retweets.

“I definitely was surprised how viral it went,” Long adds. “I kind of assumed it would get some love, maybe like 100 or 200 retweets or something. But I didn’t see it catching on like that.”

As for a UCF response, this was one that they gave through Twitter:

Game cancellations aren’t always seamless, but teams prepare for this possibility with the game contracts they agree to:

From the contract for the 2017 Miami-Arkansas State game, obtained by SB Nation:

This contract shall be void with respect to any of the games in the event that it becomes impossible to play such game(s) by reason of unforeseen catastrophe or disaster such as fire, flood, earthquake, war, [epidemic] confiscation, by order of government, military, or public authority of prohibitory or injunctive orders of any competent judicial or other government authority. Notice of such catastrophe or disaster shall be given as soon as possible. No such cancellation shall affect the parties/ obligations as to subsequent games covered by this contract. Any games not played as scheduled shall be rescheduled as such exigencies may dictate or permit.

These two definitely won’t be playing a game this Saturday, but we’ll see if the tweet inspires the two schools to discuss a future meeting.